|Amb. Bataclan meets EU Maritime Officials|
Brussels, 2 December 2011 - Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan, Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union (EU) met today Mr. Fotis Karamitsos, Director for Maritime Transport of the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DGMOVE) and discussed with him Philippine government's efforts in addressing the country's compliance to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention).
"The Philippines plays an important role in the global maritime industry as a leading supplier of seafarers. The fact that big shipping companies continue to hire Filipino seafarers is a positive indication of our seafarers' competence and skills", asserted Ambassador Bataclan.
The EU official revealed that EMSA intends to inspect the maritime schools sometime early next year. He added that there are still some aspects in the Philippine maritime training that EU needs to verify. The inspection is basically designed to validate the implementation of measures and the progress made so far as indicated in the Philippine report to DGMOVE submitted in August 2011.
Ambassador Bataclan and Mr. Karamitsos assured each other of continuing the excellent relations between the Philippines and EU and promised to do their best to resolve the issue in order to prevent negative repercussions to the Filipino seafarers.
Both officials took the opportunity to renew Philippines-EU ties and noted the importance, especially to their economies, of complying to international standards for training and certifying seafarers.
Inspections conducted by EMSA on Philippine maritime schools in 2006 and 2010, revealed a possible non-compliance by the Philippines of the STCW Convention. The STCW Convention provides a basis for the EU Member States to recognize certificates of seafarers from non-EU countries.